Central Bank of India Debuts Gift and Virtual Cards To Ease Holiday Gifting

Shoppers Can Give the Gift of Choice, Shop Online without a Bank Account or Credit Card

Oct 16, 2009, 01:00 ET from Central Bank of India

MUMBAI, India, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time for the festival season, a new gift card and first-of-its-kind virtual card from Central Bank of India and Rev are opening up a world of giving possibilities for holiday shoppers. With the Central Bank of India MasterCard® Gift Card, shoppers can give the gift of choice to loved ones. And, consumers can shop and spend online with the Rev® MasterCard® Virtual Card, the first virtual card to bring online shopping to Indian consumers who may not have a bank account or credit card.

Recipients can redeem Central Bank of India MasterCard Gift Cards to buy virtually anything they want, any place they choose. In addition to retail locations, recipients can also use them to make purchases online and over the phone anywhere MasterCard is accepted in India.

The Rev MasterCard Virtual Card is a prepaid MasterCard number that gives shoppers a secure way to buy online, over the phone or by mail order wherever MasterCard is accepted without requiring a bank account or credit card.

"As gift cards and online shopping grow in popularity, Central Bank of India is committed to working with partners to make sure everyone can enjoy them," said Mr. R. Thiagarajan, Chief Manager Centralcard, Central Bank of India.

According to research firm comScore Inc., India's Internet audience saw the strongest growth in the Asia-Pacific region, reaching 28 million Internet users in April 2008, an increase of 27 percent from the previous year.(1) And the growth of gift cards also looks set to follow international trends - the U.S. gift card market alone is estimated to be worth $5 billion by Mercator Advisory Group.(2)

"We're proud to join forces with Central Bank of India to bring consumers unlimited possibilities for giving and shopping this holiday season," said Simon Hilton, CEO, Rev Asia Pacific.

Starting today, consumers across India can enjoy the benefits of giving with a Central Bank of India MasterCard Gift Card. Recipients can also monitor the balance available on their cards from their mobile phones by registering their phone number at www.centralbankgiftcard.co.in.

Consumers can shop and spend online with the purchase of the Rev MasterCard Virtual Card beginning next week. After purchasing the card, consumers will receive a voucher number and PIN code via mobile phone or on a printed receipt, and will use that information to register and activate the card online at www.revvirtualcard.co.in. Consumers can then access their 16-digit card number on a secure web page and receive the card's expiry date and security details via email or SMS.

Central Bank of India issues the Central Bank of India MasterCard Gift Card and the Rev MasterCard Virtual Card.

Pricing and Availability

The Central Bank of India MasterCard Gift Card is immediately available from select Central Bank of India branches for Rs100 plus load value.* For more information and to find participating branch locations, please visit www.centralbankgiftcard.co.in.

The Rev MasterCard Virtual Card is available for Rs30 plus load value and can be purchased online next week and through participating retail locations in the near future.+ To purchase a card online, learn more or find participating retailers, please visit www.revvirtualcard.co.in.

(1) "India and China Propel Internet Audience Growth in Asia-Pacific Region," comScore, June 2008 (http://bit.ly/zBp6w)

(2) "5th Annual Prepaid Closed-loop Market Assessment," Mercator Advisory Group, October 2008 (http://bit.ly/182hvs)

* Valid identification required.

+ Valid identification, Indian mobile phone number and email address required.

About Central Bank of India

Established in 1911, Central Bank of India was the first Indian commercial bank which was wholly owned and managed by Indians. The establishment of the Bank was the ultimate realisation of the dream of Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala, founder of the Bank. Sir Pherozesha Mehta was the first Chairman of a truly 'Swadeshi Bank'. In fact, such was the extent of pride felt by Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala that he proclaimed Central Bank of India as the 'property of the nation and the country's asset'. He also added that 'Central Bank of India lives on people's faith and regards itself as the people's own bank'.

Among the Public Sector Banks, Central Bank of India can be truly described as an All India Bank, due to distribution of its large network in 27 out of 28 States as also in 4 out of 7 Union Territories in India. Central Bank of India holds a very prominent place among the Public Sector Banks on account of its network of 3542 branches and 218 extension counters at various centres throughout the length and breadth of the country. In view of its large network of branches as also number of savings and other innovative services offered, the total customer base of the Bank at over 25 million account holders is one of the largest in the banking industry.

About Rev India

Rev India is a subsidiary of Rev Asia Pacific, an innovative payment solutions company who designs, markets and distributes a range of prepaid card products designed to meet the needs of consumers underserved by traditional financial services. These products include reloadable cards for everyday use, mobile payments, cards for domestic and international remittance, gift cards and virtual cards for shopping online. Rev Asia Pacific forms part of Rev Worldwide (www.revworldwide.com), the first global network of payment companies created to innovate end-to- end payment solutions that allow underserved consumers around the world to participate in today's mainstream economy. Rev Worldwide partners with financial institutions, telecommunications companies, merchants and government entities to serve consumers through card payments and payment processing, reload networks, mobile payments, loyalty programs, money transfers and bill payment. The Rev Worldwide companies are members of the MPOWER Ventures investment portfolio.

SOURCE Central Bank of India